Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles pitching staff struck out a combined 27 East Texas Baptist batters, including a school record 14 by Curt Dixon, in their American Southwest Conference double-header sweep on Sunday.
In game one, the Eagles (14-2, 2-0) scored four runs in both the first and third innings en route to a 8-3 victory. John Glenn and Bruce Cameron drew back-to-back walks in the first. Cory Briggs then recorded a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position. The sacrifice worked to perfection as Robby Finnell delivered a two-run single when he sent a shot through the left side of the infield. Brad Broussard later doubled in Finnell, and Scott Dietz followed with a single to score Finnell. Ozarks had a big third inning, highlighted by a towering three-run homer by Brad Broussard to make it 7-0. It was his second home run of the season. Meanwhile, Ozarks’ starter Todd Koch pitched three shutout innings to open the game. He had four strikeouts and allowed just two hits during that span.
The Tigers (5-10, 0-2) did put the tying run on deck in the top of the sixth. With two outs, relief pitcher Kyle Hudson was inserted and promptly struck out Cody Jones to end the threat. Hudson received his fifth save of the season, tying the single-season school record set last season by John Scheuring.
Koch (3-1) went five innings and struck out five to receive the win. Hudson pitched one and one-third innings and notched three strikeouts.
Broussard finished 2-for-4 with 4 RBI. Glenn and Dietz each went 2-for-3. David Smith finished 2-for-2. Finnell had a pair of RBI.
Game two saw Dixon force a groundout to open the game, and then he proceeded to fan 11 straight in what would be a career day for the senior. Ozarks’ offense gave the 6-foot-5 right-hander a lead to work with as the Eagles held a 3-0 lead after two. Dixon didn’t need much help as he rarely fell behind in the count, and dominated the first five innings. He yielded three hits in the top of the sixth before being replaced by Brett Wood, but prior to that allowed just one hit and one walk.
Finnell hit a solo shot in the third to pad the lead to 4-0. In the fourth, Ozarks scored four runs from four hits. Broussard highlighted the inning with a two-run single. Ozarks held a 11-1 lead after the fifth, but the Tigers scored four in the top of the sixth to cut it to 11-5. The Eagles answered with six runs in the bottom of the seventh to push the advantage to 17-5. The game ended with Ozarks rolling to a 18-5 win.
Dixon’s record remains perfect as he moves to 3-0. He surpassed his previous career strikeout high of 11 set last season against Principia on February 11, 2007. On Sunday, he went five and two-third innings and was charged with four hits and five runs. Dixon’s 14 K’s ties the conference record. Seven other pitchers have accomplished the feat.
Seven Ozarks’ players had at least two hits in the game, with Finnell finishing 3-for-5 with 3 RBI. Broussard ended the game 2-for-3 with 4 RBI. Cameron had a solo shot in the eighth, his second homer of the season.
The Eagles and Tigers will continue their series on Monday when they play a single nine-inning game on Monday at 2:00 p.m.